It’s been a long time since I’ve had a magical session at Ho’okipa (North Shore of Maui, Hi). Sunsets there will take your breath away and to see it from the inside the Ocean is hard to describe. I love that I can once again call Maui home and really thankful for all the wonderful people that make this Island fantastic.
I would normal comment on each photo but as this is my triumphant return to Hawaiian waters, I’ll let the images speak for themselves tonight.
If it’s the first time seeing this blog and you want photos from today’s session, please check out my contact page and understand that I just showcase my favorite photos each day. I take a lot more and if you think I got a photo of you, there is good chance I did, so shoot me an email. Mahalo
The days of warm water and pretty sunsets are gone, bring on the nasty funky Fall power. It was grey today, the ocean, the sky and the people but who cares? There were waves and that’s all that matters. I’m going back down to the beach in a few hours so I will save a verbose blog post and rely on photogenic magic.
Representing Long Beach, NY @ Lincoln Blvd
Here’s Drew, the best photo of the day because he has enough Balls to get down to the beach before sunrise and kill it in the dark, where were you? Sleeping, that’s why Drew Rocks!
Didn’t matter if you were shooting towards the sun or away it was all muted greys
Here’s Drew’s Buddy, he rocks too but he fell on this wave and it made me laugh, sorry drew’s buddy, email me and I will give you all your photos for free.
Here’s Drew dropping in on his buddy, but it’s totally ok because my business card is in his mouth and he held on to it. So sorry Drew’s Buddy you got dogged twice today. That also makes me laugh, sorry just being honest.
Here’s a guy named Dan, That’s my name too. “Rock on” Dan’s of the world
Yeah we are happy to be in weather like this if it means we get waves.
I didn’t get the memo, it’s bootie season now, 3 hours of shooting, I could barely feel my feet, please dress according from now on, but if you wear Gloves until I say it’s cool, you are a kook and I will make fun of you too, that go for removable hoods also, grow a pair it NY
AND THE LIGHT SHALL SHOW YOU THE WAY!!! Got together with my buddy Neal before work on Monday 9/30 in Long Beach, NY. If you not up on current events, the North Atlantic is currently in the middle of the weakest Hurricane season in the last 100 years (maybe I’m being a little dramatic). We are waved starved and will hump an glimpse of swell we get. In effort to squeeze a couple of more rides out of the swell, we got to the beach around 5:30am, a solid 45minutes before first light and an hour before sunrise. Easy enough for Neal he’s just got to ride the wave, I have to focus on a moving target in the dark while bobbing up and down trying to get a usable image. The only way I can get a usable image in “no light” is with a flash, luckily I have a waterproof flash housing to go along with my Camera.
I didn’t get too many usable photos when it was pitch dark, but this one some how was crisp as day light. You can tell by the blur of the light in the back ground that there was more then a little movement going on. Aperture 40, F-Stop 2.8, Flash 1/8 ISO 500
You can tell by the difference in light from the first photo that I must have spent 15-20 minutes without getting another usable photos and this one is a little shaky
I was getting great color shooting into the sun but positioning myself close enough for the flash to be affective was a little tricky
I have to give credit where it’s due, imagine get flashed at 8fps (frames per second) in the dark and keeping your cool to pull off style like this
It stunk that we had to go to work so early but you do what you have to get waves.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hitting the coast of New Hampshire, I have been to the coast there before but never scored any waves. After talking to the locals a little, they don’t really have any waves during the summer. Luckily I had a friend that was scouting the coast early that morning and found a really awesome cove called Rye Rocks. On low tide it is a total bone yard over 50 yards of rocks but as the tide rises it peals off this point break into the cove. I personally wouldn’t recommend going right until the tide fills in, that’s if you would like to keep your fins on your board?
Didn’t get into the water until 11am and by that time the sun was blazing over head. When you point a camera at the sun it has a really hard time finding a focal spot. Not the best to take pictures in but I made the best of it.
You can see the white water on the inside of this wave was basically a shiny overexposed blob of brightness.
I was glad Rye Rocks was more of a local spot, if you have even been to NH’s coast you know that every tourist from 500 miles comes to beach and it can get a little crowded with people that really have no clue how to surf. There was only 10 guys in the water where I was surfing, but a few miles down the road at “the Wall” there was over a 150 surfers in a 1 mile stretch of beach. This guy owned this spot on a what looked like a 5’8″ board and he was no little man.
If I got down low enough and shot on an angle I was able to find some color. The rest of my session was a game of dodge ball with the sun.
This kid was my favorite, super happy grom, that was basically just stoked to be out there surfing with his brother. ear to ear smile the whole time.
He watched his brother the whole time and took off on any wave his brother told him to paddle for.
Unfortunately I don’t think his bother told him to duck dive and stop watching.
Overall it was just a fun New England surf session, cold water, friendly vibes and a lot of smiles. Can’t Really ask for more… Except maybe more surfable days, Aloha
I’m always getting excited about what I got rather then what I can have. I got a chance to travel to Tampa Bay, FL and usually when I visit this part of the country I don’t think I’m going to score waves. I’ve seen the Gulf of Mexico at it’s best but most of the time it’s lake placid. Well I scored waves, otherwise you would have to endure another “Artistic” post about the mottled composition of some strange topic against the contract of the setting sun. Lucky for you.
I got to Clearwater Beach around 6:30pm after work, it was dark grey, cold and windy. Not exactly perfect picture weather but I made the best of what I got. I had to use a flash, which requires low aperture settings, which in turn blurs everything that isn’t illuminated since everything is moving so fast. But I managed to produce some great images that really shows what it means to be a Gulf Coast surfer.
This guy had style for miles, I got the most photos of him because he was killing it the whole time.
You don’t always get the warmest welcome at local surf spots in Florida but this guy had a smile on his face the whole time.
I love to bust out the flash on dark night that are clear but when it grey it’s not always easy to get shots. I lucked out a lot and was able to catch a few keepers. You’ll notice that it’s hard to get a clear focus but on some photos it actually adds to the action.
The Surfing Photog will continue to travel and seek out new spots if you keep looking, Mahalo
Delawho!!!! Delahere!!!! DELAWARE!!!!
Had a fantastic session at Indian River Inlet, DE. Delaware is not really on any major surfing radar but it gets solid beach break shoulder high surf. I’ve been working in Baltimore, MD and had a few days off so I hit the beach and washed off the big city blues with a little friendly town charm.
Nothing to say but positive words about the wonderful surfers and people in the state of Delaware, I’ve rolled thru this part of the country a few times and have always been greeted with smiles. So I passed out a few business cards at the beach and if anybody would like copies, email me @: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be more then happy to pass along the ALOHA I have been shown.
Liquid Aloha (Needs a little touch of heat though haha)
Killer beach break barrels, this guy entered with no fear… actually he had a smile on his face the whole time
In a place where you would think everyone would be rocking the long plank… this was the only longboarder in the line up
A First on thesurfingphotog.com!!!! a mofoing KneeBoarder, they still exist. “When you are on your knees ever thing is HEAD high ;)”
I even had a Talented women with a warm blanket waiting for me, days off don’t get much better, Mahalo Delaware
NY surf comes alive during the fall, the beach empties out, we dust of our wetsuits and we charge. Waves here are few and far between and on a good swell you can tell that half the guys in the water have called in sick. That type of hunger represents NY SURF, paddling until your shoulders are burning and saying 1 more wave, 30 times. I surfed until my arms were tired then shot till my legs were burning then did it again.
I love surfing… maybe too much?
People where getting annoyed this guy was catching too many waves (those people sucked at surfing), this guy was killing it all day. So much style and form… take as many waves as you want, I got your back
The wave would jack up right above the jetty, I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t lined up there? Me and this guy shared the peak the whole time I was surfing there. (rock jetty you can notice in the bottom corner)
This dude told me he was 40 years old! I really wish I can still hack like this at 40.
There were some barrels to be found but you had to ride them into the jetty. Mostly close outs but in NY we are not afraid to go for it.
The amount of people started to shrink as the day got closer too noon, maybe people took a half day or just maybe they got tired from surfing amazing lefts all morning.
Sorry It’s been over a month since my last post. On September 7th I had a leak in my water housing due to user error, I lost about $4000 worth of equipment and honestly it was so hard for me to even look at this blog since. I just surfed and re-evaluated everything I had learn over the last year, while I figured out if I could afford getting back into a hobby that means so much to me.
I got a new used camera body and considerably cheaper 50 mm lens and got back in the water yesterday to push myself creatively. The lens wasn’t as quick to focus into the light as my old one and instead of letting that hurt me I decided to use that to my advantage. I got in the water at 6:20am (about 40 minute before the sunrise) and I wanted to represent the softness and pureness of the morning light. The color was intense!!! And with my new lens it remind me of looking into a cellophane hard candy wrapper.
Thank you for your continued support, it makes the struggles of living creatively worth it. Aloha
First light creeped over the horizon at 6:30 water temperature was high 50′s and air was low 50′s but my buddy Neal still suited up and helped me get back in the water.
Sometimes you just need to take a second and appreciate the sunrise
Focusing was hard while the ocean was rushing and my buddy was floating over the lip but the softness captures the essence of surfing at it’s purest form. Getting up sooo early so you enjoy your passion before you have to run to work stoked and salty
As the sun broke it released these wonderful purple and red hues that engulfed the sky. I don’t really eat candy but this was a huge sugar rush for me
Contrast the sky against the sun blaring thru the brownish/greenish (really dirty) water and there was an explosion of color.
Not the most epic action shot but the spray of water across the foreground reminded me of crystalized sugar in bright light and it seemed more then fitting in this post.
Daniel the Surfing Photog
I’m in love with color, mostly the vast arrays of changing light during sunrises and sunsets. The light skims across the surface of the water and the hues of the sky become alive. Unfortunately clarity is an issue as the light fades, I recently purchased a flash for my water housing so I can better illuminate my subject in the failing light. It adds another 2LBS making the totally weight around 7-8LBS and it’s not arrow dynamic cutting thru the water so, I feel like my balance is off and I’m struggling to maintain a horizon because its top heavy. Here was my first attempt on a super glassy 2-3 foot day at Robert Moses State Park. Many Mahalo’s for my friend Neal for staying in the water extra late to help me practice.
There was enough light when we first started that the flash wasn’t needed, Plus I need to understand range of my Flash (check out the moon)
Normally he would be a silhouette shooting into the sun but the flash added just enough color to make this shot
Too Far away and the flash doesn’t even matter.
The Flash actually made this too colorful and its was super red and over exposed so I bumped up the contrast and made it black and white, around this time I was having issue with focusing, the camera couldn’t find a focal distance in the dark.
This obviously wasn’t the best shot but it illustrated perfectly the concept I was going for, Perfect clarity in almost no light.
In between sets and at the end I wanted to try to get a few beach break barrel shots. But it was really hard to turn my arm with the extra weight to position my camera perfectly
Somewhere along this journey I started to do more then just take pictures, since I travel so much I get to document each local surf scene I travel too. I’m lucky enough to have another job so I don’t need to make money selling surfing pictures. This has it’s plus and minus, I take the pictures I want too and if you want to buy them more power to ya.
On this day I went to the old mans longboarding beach “Gilgo Beach”. It’s a “town beach” and if you don’t know what that means: it means it’s operated and run by a town so they can do anything they want with it (kind of like a country club). If you aren’t a resident of the town it cost $40 a day to park, there is no public transportation and they really don’t want you there. I wanted to document the old man scene that I watched growing up when I used to go there as a kid. I wanted wide angles of the gracefulness and close ups of the technical nose-riding. I forgot that even though I enjoyed watching this type of surfing, this is not my favorite type of scene to be in.
Old dudes on Long Island are crabby, they usually hate their job have a bad back and think they can catch every wave. Thats all well and good but surfing is supposed to fun. Most of these guys are the epitome of a hard core surfer, cold weather, dawn patrol before work and they will never stop surfing. It’s something that I respected growing up but never understood that tough guy, weary of outsides, this is my beach attitude. All of them will deny this, but none of them even payed attention to the young surfers or short boarders in the line up. I didn’t stay long and I won’t post the negative attitude I witnessed but just remember have fun, it beats working any day.
Even thought I think I got some good shots I’m not going to speak about the photos individually, they are happy in their little pack and I’m just going to let them do their own thing. Maybe one day when I’m old I’ll understand but I hope not lol
I’m working on a west coast International Marketing Tour, yet for some reason I’m in Illinois… Don’t ask it’s marketing. I’ve gone to California a few times already this year and have been lucky enough to land some pretty solid swells. Here are a bunch of great shots for one reason or another didn’t make the cut in my previous post, so I thought since I’m suck in the Midwest and the chance of getting great surfing shots is slim, I’d revisit the west coast.
Sold this shot to this guys friend for a gift… so I didn’t want to post the shot until he got it. It was the best shot I’ve got in California hands down! (it was his first session with his new board… I think it’s a keeper)
This kid was killing it that day!
The water temp so freezing this day I was surprised I stayed in for 2 hours with only a shorty 2/2mm. Wish I could stay longer it was a super glassy day
I could just post the 3 shot from this sequence and claim it was a sick but he didn’t even come close to landing it.
Here is a great barrel shot from the Wedge but it was a little too pretty to add to a post when you are calling the place a freak
The question I get the most when I’m taking photos is “Do I surf?”. I love surfing, it has to be my favorite thing on the planet. I take photos of it to share the beauty and power of the ocean. I like to tell people when they ask that “I get to catch every wave” (even the waves no ones rides).
Here is one that I caught all by myself (the refection of the cliff and sky on the wave is something you miss while surfing a wave)
I also get a rush when I’m able to get so close to the action without interfering (I have got skag before and I had to pay for breaking the fin)
I also appreciate the different styles of surfers, cause no matter what or how you ride, the joy of sliding on the surface of the ocean is unlike any other feeling
And sometimes I just enjoy sitting back and watching the action.
I had the pleasure of going to my favorite beach in Southern California and I’m purposely not telling you the location (lack of a crowd is one of reasons I love this place). It is predominantly a longboard spot and is home to some of the most stylish surfers in the area. Its contrast of a visually stunning backdrop and long pealing waves make this place a diamond in the rough in over crowd ego driven So Cal.
Inspired by the location I decided to get artsy with the shoot and “document” surfing in it’s purest form, Not only concentrating on the “sport” aspect of surfing photography.
Not easy to only find one guy in a line up in So Cal
I loved the focus on this image
The following pictures are examples of longboarding done right
This guy was the only short boarder in the line up but what he lacked in fiberglass he made up in style
Winter is over time to make room for spring so in no particular order here are my top 10 favorite moments from the best winter of life…so far
#1 This is a picture of Kamalei Alexander at backdoor Pipeline (the most famous/deadliest wave in the world). It’s unedited (no photoshop, no crop) This was the first time I didn’t sit in the “Channel” and I ventured out into the line-up. I was so scared and really pushing the boundaries of my physical abilities. But this day I proved to myself that all my training and hard worked paid off.
From the Post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/12/16/backdoor-barrels/)
#2 This is a picture of a surfing Icon Randy Rarick, I met him on 2-4 foot day out at Sunset Beach. I was training on a small day and learning the contour of the reef. I knew the more I learned about the surf breaks on the North Shore the better I was prepared to leave alive. Randy introduced himself to me because he was intrigued (Established surf photographers don’t swim out to sunset on 4 foot days to “practice”). This chance encounter turned out to be the most influential day of my winter
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/18/meeting-my-icons/)
#3 Jadson Andre at Rocky Point. He purposely threw this air right in front of me, He wanted me to get this shot. I realized at that point that people though I was a professional because my abilities to maintain position in the line up and my demeanor in and out of the water. I sent him a copy of this picture and he Re-Tweeted (He is in top 20 in the world of pro surfing)
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/21/finally-some-swell/)
#4 This is just a random accident shot, wasn’t trying to get it… just following some no-name surfer on the wave. Magic moments are always there and anybody can have to wave of the day. Pro-surf photographers only take pictures of pro-surfers or huge waves… I take pictures of everybody because it isn’t a job… Its fun
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2011/11/16/got-to-love-art-shots/)
#5 Waterproof Long exposure… I have been a photo dork for a long exposures and night time pictures are my favorite non-sports related type of photography. To get this picture I swam out to the reef at 10pm, set my tripod (I got a custom tripod mount for my water housing) used a flash light in a ziplock bag to illuminate the ocean. It was a 30sec exposure at an f stop of 11 ISO 800
#6 I had permission to swim out to the Eddie Aikau Big wave invitational. Nobody besides invitees and a few photographers are allowed to participate in the opening ceremony paddle out. This is not televised and it is one of the greatest honors in surfing. With great humility and pride did I share those moments. December 1 2011 was the day I realized the true meaning of Aloha
#7 Clark Little is the most famous wave photographer in the world. Here was my first attempt to capture the amazing shore break he has made iconic with Hawaii’s powerful waves. I took about 1000 shots to get this one keeper… not easy
#8 Because of my success on the North Shore of Oahu and my eye for “art” shots a mutual friend Val Frey hired me to get her the classic duck diving shot. I got paid to take pictures of a model… I repeat I got paid to take pictures of a very beautiful model
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/10/duck-diving-photo-shoot/)
#9 That duck diving shot gave me enough credit to venture into Fine Art shots.
From the post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/29/kate/)
#10 This was the biggest meanest wave I swam out to all winter. Tom Whitaker at Honolua Bay Maui 1/4/12
From the Post (http://thesurfingphotog.com/2012/01/05/honolua-bay/)
Here is just a friend of mine saying goodbye to me at the Maui Airport… Makes me smile
Pavilions is the East break at Hookipa beach park, it’s also the most localized spot on the beach. Knowing what you are doing and watching out for deeper surfers is Key at this spot. I’m only stating this because as a photographer I have no right to tell anyone to watch out, I’m just a peaceful observer. But I was dodging Long Boarder’s and kooks for more then half my session, Kind of a pain in the ass when you are focusing on a surfer that clearly has the peak and someone drops in on them and right in front of you.
Maybe I’m bitter or maybe I spent the last 2 month at Rocky Point on the North Shore of Oahu and saw people get beat down for putting peoples life’s at risk.
I personally feel the same way as this girl in the photo flipping the bird…. This guy should have got booted
This happened so many times I decided to get a shot of this donkey bailing his board. He bail his board after dropping in on the surfer on the wave and didn’t even try to hold his board. It’s dangerous and personally I think it’s a sign of disrespect.
And I’m not one to get to gang up on someone but this girl didn’t give a shit. She must have thought she was at Waimea Bay . With that huge red board, acting like this is a local share waves… She got barked at and did it again…
This is my favorite Donkey 1 Trips Donkey 2….
It was a longboard day at Hookipa, small waves but some enjoyable Kona off-shore winds. This brings a lot of smiles and mellow attitudes. Everyone is out there just enjoying the ocean and the wonderful felling you get gliding along the water.
Lets get the cute girls out of the way first, then we can worry about the god vibes haha
Bust out your best shaka
Since it was small I made my friends hold hands and look cute for an underwater shot. Maybe one day I’ll take engagement shots, hahahah yeah right
Ok I never tried Wind Surfing, seen a wind surfing magazine and have never shot pictures of wind surfers, That being said I think I did a good job. Met some nice wind surfers in the parking lot of Hookipa Beach park asked some basic questions about the sport and swam out. I’ve seen them bust crazy airs before so I was ready for that but I had no clue how fast the can move in with a slight shift of their sail. I really didn’t want to get hit so I played it cautious
Air of the Day!
The next 2 shots are of the same guy (SAME WAVE), I loved the color behind the wave shooting into the sun. Surfers never get that high so I wasn’t use to turning around looking for that image.
Here is an older guy that was leaning so deep into the wave, not sure if that a good thing or not. But I though it was cool
This kid was killing it!
GOOD JOB? YES OR NO
So I said had a bunch from yesterday session so I thought I’d do a part 2 from Honolua Bay.
This was actually my favorite shot of the day! The surfer dropped in on the bodyboarder and the sponger edged him into the white water then looked back to watch the guy get smashed by the lip. Really funny
This not a bodyboarder post but this guy got super deep so I had to show it too.
Longboarder’s were killing it too
I’m a goofy foot so I understand this photo, still doesn’t make it a good idea on a point break style wave. The girl duck diving can’t figure it out either haha
This was a great spot for this surfer but this was the wave I got smashed on. Thats how crazy I am, I know I’m about to get pounded but I still grab a few shots before the wave drills me haha, I might have issues
So the waves are very small, so I deiced to go on down to Turtle Bay Resort and take pictures of Tourist. I figured I could make a few bucks or just have fun watching people learning how to surf. Trust me it takes years to gain style and everyone (myself included) looks like a kook when they first start. I had a blast and so was everyone in the water. It’s on the North Shore but there aren’t any local here that want to beat you up. People are just happy to be in the water. I meet Josh Kerr today surfing with his daughter, really sweet girl that wanted to know what I was doing, Josh told her I was talking her photo. He thought I worked for the hotel, I guess all the photographers he knows wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like that hahaha. But I got his information and I told him I’d get him the photos and NO I WILL NOT CHARGE JOSH KERR FOR PHOTOS, HAHA (if you don’t know who Josh Kerr is check out his website http://www.kerr-azy.com/)(I think he’s currently ranked 6th in the world)
And there was a cool turtle that was hanging out in the line up. I didn’t want to bother him to much but I came close enough to snap a photo
Wanted to feel the new pulse of swell @ Sunset so I swam across Boneyards (bad idea). There is a lot of West in this swell and it was just dragging me over the reef. It’s good practice for tomorrow when the VAN World Cup resumes. I put in a work out and even got caught inside by a large set (the lip came down on my legs a sent shock waves thru my whole body) just go’s to show when you are not ready you can get pounded.
New Yorkers were out in full force today at sunset, so why not get some shots, forgetaboutit
And this guy is my neighbor, I’m not sure if he speaks english, but he smiles when I say hello so maybe I’ll give him this picture. He’s a big dude so maybe I’ll just leave a copy on his door step ahah
Every time I take the 15 minute swim out to Sunset Beach Break, I always have a great time. It’s about 200 yards from the beach and when the current is strong it is not an easy swim out. Lets not forget to mention BoneYards and why it’s called that. The easiest way to paddle out is over boneyards (nick named this because of the dry exposed reef right next to the break) but it’s not the safest. I guess people just realize the skill it takes to get out there and they totally respect it. Ok lets stop talking about me and just see some pictures hehe.
Empty Barrels into boneyard, no one was brave enough to take them, I really wanted to swim in and get my board but it would be dark by the time I got in
I think I’m in love with the world under the world.
This is Bruno, he was so stoked to be out there, I can’t help but smile when I look at his face. He came over introduced him self and was wondering what i was doing out there, I gave him the website name, I really hope he checks it out and smiles too when he sees his face.
You can see the contest site in the background, I got permission to shoot during the contest so I’m totally stoked, I hope it gets BIGGGGGGG. and I get a front row seat to watch some of the best surfers in the world tear up sunset
So I took a swim out to Sunset Beach to practice and stay in loose. It’s been small for the last few days and I thought I could go for a survival swim (with my camera of course) out past the break and across to Rocky Point. I get out there and there are some long boarders riding a bowl section and pulling off some classic nose rides. Mostly older guys but a few visitors from Maui and a few locals. Very relaxed fun session. So Randy Rarick paddles into a pealing right and I go right under his board. He was so perplexed why? He came over and said “you didn’t have to dive deep under me” (basically saying he was never going to run me over). So I told him it’s a small day and I’m practicing underwater shots of surfers, I said I was looking to get a shot of your fin as it cuts thru the water. I guessed this impressed him because he wanted to know both my First and Last name and if I had a website.
Even small days can be epic!!!
All I have to say is STYLE
As the swell decreases and as the end of glorious 3 day weekend (haha people that actually have real jobs) it was a longboard kind of day. Get out the big stick, da boat, the loooong plank… Lets pack the minivan go to the North Shore and lather on the sunscreen. But seriously there where some rippers and even some good nose ridding, a skill that seems to be lost on the youth. So next time it’s mushy and onshore, dust off your old woody and ride with some style.